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Edneyville sewer line 'could change that community forever'

County commissioners are seeking public input before deciding whether to build a sewer line that could spark development in northern Henderson County. County commissioners are seeking public input before deciding whether to build a sewer line that could spark development in northern Henderson County.

EDNEYVILLE — Henderson County commissioners are confronting a decision in Edneyville that they say could lead to a building boom and pressure to bulldoze apple orchards for new houses and apartments. Before they make such a momentous move, they want to hear from Edneyville residents.


The commissioners will be posed to listen when they gather at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at the North Henderson High School auditorium, 35 Fruitland Road, to gather public comment on a possible 5-mile sewer line that could make development of higher density housing much more attractive.
“This is a big deal,” County Manager Steve Wyatt told commissioners at their last meeting. “This is a complicated issue and it is a big deal because the decisions that you make here potentially will change that community forever and in ways that we probably can’t even foresee.”
Discussion of the sewer line, projected to cost at least $4½ million, started when county administrators presented commissioners with options for wastewater treatment to serve the new Edneyville Elementary School, expected to open in 2019. Running a gravity line that would serve both the new school and the Justice Academy, which has an aging system in need of replacement, could potentially trigger development of 10,766 multi-family dwellings, County Engineer Marcus Jones told the board last month.
“What’s that going to do with the increase in population the schools are going to have to handle?” Commissioner Tommy Thompson asked. “If we do gravity, are we building the school big enough to handle what’s going to come or are we going to say 15 years down the road, ‘Now we’re behind the ball again because we didn’t plan properly.’”
Commissioner Bill Lapsley said the county needs to know whether the city will enforce its policy of annexing new sewer users who are outside the city.
“All of a sudden by action of this board we could get a long list of property owners having to be annexed to connect to the sewer line,” he said. “All of the potential people that might be served by it are faced with the awkward position of having to be annexed to connect and that concerns me.”
Commissioners directed staff to continue talking with the city of Hendersonville on possible cost-sharing options and to conduct a study of the long-range consequences of a sewer line running through the apple country, the cost and financing options. County leaders won’t have that comprehensive report this week, Wyatt said.